Thailand running out of Favipiravir as Covid-19 cases rise, says RDS
The Rural Doctor Society (RDS) has urged the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) to allow domestic production of Favipiravir, warning that supply of the anti-Covid-19 drug is running out.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, the RDS said Favipiravir is in short supply as daily infections rise again. It added that Molnupiravir is being used to treat adult Covid-19 patients, while Fah Talai Jone (green chiretta) is being used to treat children and patients with mild symptoms.
"GPO aimed to produce Favipiravir for use in the country, but the agency is relying on imports of the drug instead," RDS said, adding that the GPO is the only agency permitted to produce and import Favipiravir in Thailand.
RDS said that this wasn't the first time that Favipiravir stocks have run low. It said this problem would not happen if the government allowed the private sector to produce or import the drug.
RDS also revealed evidence from a Public Health Ministry executive's Line chat to support its claim that Favipiravir is running out.
The Line chat shows the executive had called hospitals and Provincial Public Health Office directors nationwide to reserve Favipiravir for children as there was only enough supply for seven days.
The executive noted that the number of Covid-19 infections, especially in children, is rising, adding that the GPO would deliver 2 million tablets of Favipiravir within five to seven days.
"Apart from medical staff, the public should be made aware of this issue as well," RDS added.
The GPO insists it is still delivering Favipiravir to public hospitals and health services nationwide daily.
"GPO has already delivered 3.7 million tablets to public health service units," said the agency's deputy director Sirikul Metheweerangsan, adding that another 21.3 million tablets will be delivered from July 17.
She said the GPO has ordered more raw materials to produce Favipiravir to meet demand. It had also delivered 2 million capsules of Molnupiravir to the Public Health Ministry on Tuesday and would procure another 3 million capsules this month, she added.
Sirikul said the GPO will monitor the Covid-19 situation closely and control supply, production and procurement of drugs according to demand.